Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Degree Name

Geography (Cartography and GIS Option)

Department or School/College

Department of Geography

Committee Chair

Paul Wilson

Commitee Members

Christiane von Reichert, Teresa Sobieszczyk


accessible transportation, seniors


University of Montana


Accessible transportation is an integral service for many people with disabilities and the elderly in order to live healthy and fulfilling lives. This thesis aims to give communities a way of assessing their accessible transportation services to determine if they are adequately providing transportation to these populations. In this project data was gathered through interviews with agencies that provide accessible transportation in Missoula, MT and the surrounding area. This data in conjunction with U.S. Census data was compiled and spatially analyzed using GIS to create maps to assess current accessible transportation and show where additional accessible transportation may be of value. The maps created illustrate the number of options available for locations across the study area and when accessible transportation is available. The maps show that there is variance in the number of options across the study area and that as one moves toward the outskirts of the Missoula area, accessible transportation options are very limited. Additional maps spatially display factors associated with transportation such as cost, purpose for which the transportation can be used, eligibility criteria for the services, and type of additional assistance provided to the rider. These maps indicate there is variance in these factors across the study area also. This indicates that potential users may not have access to the most suitable transportation option depending on where they need to be picked up and dropped off. A second interview was conducted to ascertain the accuracy of the maps and if the agency representatives believe this information can be used to coordinate and collaborate services with each other and help them determine how to expand or restructure services. Four out of five of the agency representatives that participated in the study believe the maps provided useful information to their agency and all agencies agreed that this process would be useful to other communities in assessing their accessible transportation.



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